Adam Scott has further entrenched his place in Australian golf folklore with a two-stroke victory at the PGA TOUR Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles.
Although it is the second time he has triumphed at LA’s iconic course, his 36-hole win in 2005 was not recognised as an official title, this latest victory taking his tally to 14 all-time on the PGA TOUR and equal third with Bruce Crampton, behind only Greg Norman (20) and Jim Ferrier (18) as the most by an Australian on the US Tour.
The 39-year-old’s win at the Australian PGA Championship in December marked the end of a winless streak stretching 1,386 days, his next coming in his very next tournament just 56 days later.
It is the third time Scott has won tournaments in consecutive starts (2013, 2016) and is projected to move him up to No.6 in the world heading into the first of the World Golf Championships in Mexico this week.
Following their victories earlier in the season, Scott joins Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman as Aussie winners on the PGA TOUR in 2020 and adds a new chapter to Scott’s affinity with Riviera stretching back more than 15 years.
“It’s amazing. I’ve loved this place from day one,” Scott said in his post-round interview on CBS.
“It was tough out there today but the crowd is incredible, I feel like they’re on my side believe it or not. I’m stoked with this.
“I hadn’t won for three years and this feels very, very special.”
Starting the final round tied at the top at 10-under with world No.1 Rory McIlroy and US Presidents Cup member Matt Kuchar, Scott remained steady as challengers mounted short-lived charges or fell by the wayside.
A two-putt from 50 feet at the par-5 first and a 26-footer for birdie at three moved Scott to 12-under but he stumbled momentarily with a bogey at four and double-bogey at five, where McIlroy also found trouble on his way to a triple bogey 7.
Scott righted the ship with a birdie from 18 feet at the par-3 sixth and held a one-shot lead through 10 holes as Riviera’s exacting design and firm greens put a squeeze on those near the top of the leaderboard.
A crucial par save at 12 was an important moment on the back nine and a birdie at 13 after two brilliant shots put Scott two shots clear of Max Homa.
There was a bogey blip at 15 but as Riviera remained miserly coming down the stretch, a superb up-and-down for birdie at 17 restored his two-shot cushion and made the walk up 18 all that more comfortable.